Yesterday I wrote that Habs fans would need to have patience with this team as it tries to get back to the way it played for the first 40 games of the season. When your team is losing, its hard to stay level headed. Its hard not to throw the baby out with bathwater. I want to make a distinction just to ensure that I’m not giving people the wrong impression here.
It flat out su@ks to watch how this team has played over the last few games. Straight up – this team has been garbage. A team that for 40 games won puck battles, out-skated opponents, made big saves, scored on the powerplay, and found ways to clear rebounds from in front of their goaltender. For 40 games they found ways to score first and win hockey games.
For the past three games – it seems as though that team has vanished in thin air. Everything seems to go wrong. The goaltending that was once so strong has become very poor. The team defense that carried the team has become porous. The offensive depth that was once praised on this blog as the core-strength of the team has wilted under the weight of bigger opponents who have exploited the team’s apparent lack of toughness.
All of these things have been obvious to fans over the past three games. My caution is to those (not specifically on this site) who so quickly sound the alarms of panic. This team hadn’t lost 3 consecutive games this season until yesterday. They haven’t lost 4… yet. They are still tied with Boston with 57 points for first in the division, though the Bruins hold a game in hand. You aren’t wrong for noticing that things have been terrible lately – but so much of the rhetoric that we hear at times like these is so overstated it becomes too much to take seriously. It is perfectly reasonable to question the effort of the past three games. It is perfectly reasonable to believe that the three game skid is a bad sign for the playoffs.. but we really could use some rational discourse when it comes to writing off the entire season which even after these few bad games is so much better than any of us could have ever hoped for going into this season. And as bad as things have been in the last 3 games – the Habs are 5-5 in their last 10. That isn’t very good. Their main competition, the Bruins are 5-4-1. All teams struggle, and all teams question whether they have what it takes to win in the playoffs.
Here’s hoping that Montreal can jump on the Bolts early. Lets hope a big game in front of Carey Price can help to set the team on a good path for the final 5 games of the season towards the playoffs. Because we’re in. And regardless of who we play when the games start – that is the best time of year.
Go Habs Go!!